#MarketingMonday – Get started!

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#MarketingMonday – Get Started!

Welcome to my Freebie Marketing Tips! As a marketer, I know the importance of having a presence

Are you just getting started with your career? Or needing to reboot your current one? Don’t worry. It’s never too late to begin or start over. So how do you get started? I will take you step-by-step with some simple steps to help you along your way.

Here’s a video of what I strongly believe should be your first step to creating your brand:

I hope this helps you begin your journey of creating a brand that you love and can be trusted. Remember to make you YOU-nique! ¬†ūüėÄ

Until next time…
Happy Writing!
~t

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3 Ways to Connect

connecting3 Ways to Connect

If you have your own business, you have to make connections. Connections with your industry, connections with your customers/clients, and don’t forget your connections with potential co-workers and customers/clients.

How to make those connections?

  1. handshake_01.svg.medPut yourself out there.
    Yep. Stick your hand out¬†and introduce yourself to people. *introvert alert! introvert alert!* I know. Trust me, I know!!!! Take a¬†few deep breaths. SMILE. Say hello. You will be amazed how many people will smile and say hello back. Think positive things about the people around you. You will begin to relax and feel more comfortable. THAT will come across as you look at them and speak. People will notice. Make sure you keep the conversation organic. If it comes to a “What do you do?” moment, let them know.
  2. radio_wireless_tower_cor_.svg.medUse out an ad or interview.
    Use your local newspaper(s) to carry an ad or write an article. Contact your local radio and TV stations, see if you can get an interview. You will be able to reach a different group of people with each of these, as well as a broader range. You can write or talk about your services, a new product coming out, or an overall review of what you offer. The newspaper might have a certain angle you can approach them with. Morning talk shows can be a great opportunity to get your point across those in their morning routine.
  3. monitor_shandy_brown_.svg.medSocial media activity.
    *ahhh, you knew this was coming* So many of us are online A LOT. There is a great opportunity (mostly free too!!!!!!) to approach people through social media outlets. Website, blogs, facebook, twitter, youtube, and on and on I could go, because there are so many avenues to pursue here. Each one has its own pros and cons. The main thing is to find what works for you and your business, stick with it, and remain consistent.

In short, get yourself and your products/services out there. People won’t know about you if you don’t make an effort. If this is something you love doing, it will come across that way. People will see your excitement and will want to know more.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Are you using these avenues to get the word out?
What else have you found to be beneficial?
Which one would you like to see a more in depth post on?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

  • Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and¬†COMMENT on this post.
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  • Don‚Äôt miss one post! Email sign ups are over here ‚ÄĒ>
  • ¬†Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my Newsletter sign up page.

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3 Thoughts on Time Management

timemanagement3 Thoughts on Time Management

Let’s face it, we are all busy. There are certain things that happen and we have to learn to roll with the punches. Making time to do the things we love or want to accomplish is usually on the top of our list though. But what about the other things that need to be done? Things like marketing, research, and other things that help everything come together. Honestly, it can be overwhelming.

Here are a few things I do to help manage my time and accomplish certain goals.

  1. Calendaring – I’ve been doing this for a few years now. It has made a major difference in my productivity too! I wrote a blog post that you can read HERE on how I set up my calendar on my laptop. I designated a day (Sunday for me) to sit down and prepare what I want done over the next seven days. I’ll enter it in on my calendar. This includes blog posts, writing, doctor visits, research, website design, anything and everything that I may be doing for that amount of time. As the things are accomplished, I highlight them in green. I like green. ¬†ūüėÄ
  2. Timer – This is my key when I’m doing social media. I allow a certain amount of time for me to scroll on social media. It can be five minutes to thirty minutes on a certain outlet. I may be doing research on how to utilize something better. Or I may simply be scrolling through and being “social”. The thing is keeping my time centered and not letting hours *you know what I mean* go by and then looking around wondering where my day went.
  3. Blocks – I will use blocks of time to accomplish certain things. I block out time to write my blog posts. I’ll use downtime (night time) to upload videos. While sipping coffee, I’ll look over my email, read blogs (where I try to comment and share), and catch up on friend’s and family’s updates. I’ll redo this while eating lunch and maybe at night, if I have time. I block out time to schedule tweets and facebook posts too. Those scheduled tweets and posts are to promote my books and business.

All this helps me accomplish things and not be as overwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong. I do fall behind at times and not understand how to utilize things to the best of it’s ability. BUT by doing these three things, those times happen fewer and further between.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::

How do you manage your time?
Are there other things you do to plot out what is to be done?
Do you utilize these same things?

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

  • Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, andCOMMENT on this post.
    Easy, peasy buttons found below.
  • Don‚Äôt miss one post! Email sign ups are over here ‚ÄĒ>
  • ¬†Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my Newsletter sign up page.

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www . Wednesday – nerdychicksrule.com

NerdyChicks

www. Wednesday – nerdychicksrule.com

I discovered this site last year and have become a follower. Why? it’s about a few nerdy chics who are empowering other nerdy chics in the writing field. ¬†ūüôā ¬† Honestly, what’s not to love there???

Kami and Sudipta (and now Mary) share their collected coolness and pass on some great information. They also offer classes to help others further in their career!

Here’s a little peck about them:

“Nerdy Chicks Rule is a blog celebrating the accomplishments of females who aren‚Äôt afraid to use brain power. We feature interviews with cool nerdy chicks, and quotes from cool nerdy chicks. ¬†(Cool nerdy ¬†is not an oxymoron. Nerdy IS cool here at Nerdy Chicks Rule.) ¬†Every now and then in between you‚Äôll get a few words from we bloggers.”

Go check out their website and get to scratching around. You’ll find all kinds of feed and juicy tidbits!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about Nerdy Chicks!
Do you know of any other blogs or websites you would like seen featured on my blog?

DON’T FORGET…

Summer SparksSUMMER SPARKS will be starting this month on June 21st! READ THIS POST and let me know if you will be taking the challenge. Let’s get those ideas sparking!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

*¬†Don‚Äôt miss one post! Email sign-ups¬†are over here ‚ÄĒ>
* Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT ON THIS POST.
Easy, peasy buttons found  below.
* Sign up for my  N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other
tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click  ~HERE~  to be directed to my
Newsletter sign-up page.
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Marketing Monday – Social Media Time Suck

SocialMediaSocial Media – Time Suck

I know I’ve gone in depth on the different social media outlets on this board. After all, this is something I use almost daily and part of my business. It is something I believe everyone who owns their own business should use.

The main question is how much time can you devote to it? Social media can be a time suck. There. I said it. HA! But it really can. You go online to do a little research and before you know it, it is a few *cough, cough* hours later and you’re looking a funny cat videos. *I know, I know. They ARE cute. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†*¬†That black hole can be tough to pull yourself out of. Then all the ‘extra’ time you’ve had to research, get some new writing done, revise, etc is g-o-n-e! ¬†*head meets desk* ¬†So how can we get better results?

  • Focus
    Decide what you want to accomplish. It can be to separate yourself from another writer. Or separating your name, like I had to, from someone else who is well known. Or you want to build your online presence more. Any number of things. Decide what YOU want to accomplish.
  • Schedule
    Use a calendar and pencil in your agenda. Take it in chunks. 15 min / 30 minute / 1 hour segments are great.
    I began setting a long term goal (what I wanted to accomplish over a year). Then I sat down with my calendar that I made and scheduled what I wanted to accomplish each month. (ex: learn a different social media outlet, use that outlet, become comfortable with that outlet, and decide if I wanted to continue with it.) Then  every Sunday I would pencil in what I was going to do each day that week. I would work on writing/revising a manuscript, blog posts, making videos, updating website, etc. Whatever I needed.
  • Timer
    Make it count and keep yourself accountable. Not only do I schedule the days, I give myself a time limit. Use an egg times, or your microwave, or your phone to keep with the time. Even when you are doing something on your calendar, it can be more in depth than you thought to learn, and before you know it, it will creep into your next appointment on your calendar for the day. I will also highlight things when I’ve completed them. It gives me a sense of accomplishment when I see everything for the week in green. This I found EXTREMELY helpful when working on my platform, because I knew I was doing something. Platform building takes time to build and those green highlights let me know I was trudging along.

Thanks for reading along today!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you do to avoid the Social Media Time Suck.
Do you use a calendar or other method to keep you on track?

DON’T FORGET…

Summer SparksSUMMER SPARKS will be starting this month on June 21st! READ THIS POST¬†and let me know if you will be taking the challenge. Let’s get those ideas sparking!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

*¬†Don‚Äôt miss one post! Email sign-ups¬†are over here ‚ÄĒ>
* Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT ON THIS POST.
Easy, peasy buttons found  below.
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Tuesday Tips: 5 Tips on How to Find an Agent

5 tips on how to find an agent5 Tips on How to Find an Agent

Finding an agent is no small feat. Trust me. I’m struggling on this very subject, like many of you. So why do I feel qualified to give out hints??? Because, I’ve learned from my mistakes and would like to pass on some helpful¬†information to hopefully save you from getting your¬†hopes up OR going down the wrong path.

So here are somethings I have learned along my winding, bumpy, often full of boulders path:

  • RESEARCH
    There are TONS of reasons to do research. Go to the agency’s website to:
    a) Make sure the acquire the same genre as you.
    b) Make sure they are open to submissions.
    c) To see how to format your submissions.
    BUT I want you to take your research a step further.  Look them up on other outlets like Preditors & Editors, Absolute Write, QueryTracker. Each of these websites will show you if the have a reputation (bad or good), and Absolute Write has discussions on some of them too. Or go to forums such as the Blue Boards and see if there is any information on them and/or ask about them yourself.
  • TALK
    Talk to other writers and illustrators about agents. Talk to the agents themselves!!! (They are really nice people.) There are groups who are focused solely one editors/agent information.
  • FOLLOW
    Stalk… Follow them on Twitter/Facebook/Blogs/Tumbler/you get the picture.
    You will get to know them as a person… their likes, dislikes, #MSWL!!!, and more.
  • ASK¬†QUESTIONS
    Some agencies are open to hearing your questions. Fuse Literary Agency is one of them. #AskFuse is a popular hashtag on Twitter on Fridays. What better way of finding out thoughts and feelings that by asking. *note: these parties are usually NOT for pitching ms*
  • GUT¬†FEELING
    In the end, go with your gut.
    If something doesn’t feel right, sound right, look right, whatever, LISTEN to that voice and follow through.

So why am I writing this post? Because I have had friends get burned by not-so-great agents. I have friends who have been lifted up by some awesome agents. I myself have had to run away when something wasn’t right. Through research I have found some lovely people, and¬†even if they don’t represent me, I know are wonderful agents who will champion their right people.

Just remember this:

No agent is better than a bad agent.

Happy hunting. ¬† ūüėČ

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Do you agree with my advice?
Is there something I left out?
Do you know of any other great research websites?

Until next time,

Happy writing.
~t

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Tuesday Tips – Why Critique Groups Are Important

Why Critique Groups Are ImportantWhy Critique Groups Are Important

You’ve spent hours, days, and years (yes, I said years – even with picture books) on a manuscript.

You’ve gone over it a gazillion times. You finally push yourself back from the computer and declare it ready.

But is it?

You’ve grown accustomed to your characters, their subtle and outlandish flaws, their quirks that make them – them! You have mapped out your setting and know every stone and corner in your story’s world. You know the conflict everything is a part of and everyone one is going through. So can you really “see” your story now???

Chances are, No.

This is where a second (or third or fourth or ???…) set of eyes can come into play. BUT do not get your best friend or your mother or someone close to read it and tell ¬†you what they think. Although there is nothing wrong with them reading it. ¬† ūüėČ ¬† Get a group of your peers to look over it.

A critique group is just that… a group of your peers who are willing to give feedback. You, in return, give your opinion on their story too. They are also someone who is pursuing a career in writing and will be able to look at your material more critically than someone who isn’t in the field.

Some people are leery of doing this. They have heard of ideas being stolen. Harsh criticism on work to where the writer is left in tears. There are hurt feelings and deeper scars when it comes to trust.

BUT, BUT, BUT!!!¬†There are people out there (AMAZING people) who are willing and lovely, and who will send out positivity into you and your work. It may take a few tries to find the right people in which you click with. You may have to weed out and resow with new people when a few don’t work. That is part of the process though. When you do find the right people, something will click! You will see that there are brilliant people who will push you further than you thought you could go. They will help your skills improve and the end result will be your career will begin to take shape.

What Should You Look For?

  • Look for someone who is like-minded.
    You want someone who has goals similar to yours. Are you wanting to get published? Find an agent? Just get some words down? Find people who will push you (and you push them) to the next level.
  • Genre.
    A lot of people think if you write a book, you can critique anything. Nope, nope, nope. I tell people it’s like dogs…
    A Chihuahua is a dog, a Lab is a dog, and a St. Bernard is a dog. (yes)
    Would you give them the same food? (no)
    Would you give them the same amount of medicine? (no)
    Do they take up the same amount of room? (no)
    The same amount of upkeep? (no)
    The same is true with your writing. Sure board books, picture books, early readers, chapter books, mid grade, young adult, and new adult are ALL children’s writing. BUT they are different writing styles, how you approach the subject matter, IF you approach the subject matter, word count, and on and on.
  • Rhyming and non-rhyming
    Oh how I love rhyming, but my own critique group will tell you it’s not my strong point. (hahaha, I try.) Rhyming is very tough to do, to keep it within certain parameters, to not force the issue, to not do something just to make it fit, to not write it badly. There are some wonderful people out there that can do this though. Study their work if you choose to do this. Make sure your critique group is on board with you on the rhyming bit too.
  • Time commitment.
    Are you wanting someone who is only going to put 10-15 minutes of thought into a critique or are you wanting more in depth feedback? Line by line or overall thoughts? Nitpick or over-easy remarks? The more in depth someone goes, the more time they will need to spend on your work. (Which they hope you will do the same with theirs.) Make sure it is something you are comfortable with and are able to do.

How To Get Started?

Put a call out or scan around and see if someone else is already looking.

Set up guidelines: What you expect from each other. Turn around time. What needs to be said when sending work. HOW to send work.  etc. The more specific you get, the better your expectations will be.

 

Honestly, I’ve been in a few critique groups. Some have been better than others. I have made some great, great, GREAT friends along the way too. I hope this helps ease your mind about critique groups and helps show how to get the ball rolling too.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about critique groups?
Are you in one or more?
What have been the benefits/set backs?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Newsletter sign-up page.
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